Cedar, Michigan the home of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. It is noted by many to be one of the most vibrant parishes in the Diocese of Gaylord. The church building is located on a hill just outside of Cedar (Isadore).
Cedar is also home to Polish immigrants who built Holy Rosary Church. At the front of the Church sanctuary one can see the following inscription: “Krolowo Rozanca Sw. Modl Sie Za Nami” which is translated as “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Pray for Us”
This parish has, under the leadership of Fr. Donald Libby and a cadre of staunchly Catholic faithful, become what many see as a standard for sacred liturgy and active parish life. Gaylord Diocesan Watch has reported on this parish in the past. In addition to these strong points, the church building is maintained as a sacred space, with beautiful stained glass windows, statues, and a pipe organ, all of which enhance the parish. The grounds of the parish boast a well maintained landscape as well as a flower garden which helps in providing flowers for the altars inside.
During the summer, there are three Masses on Sunday, one of which is a traditional Latin Mass. It is therefore a source of concern for some to see the upcoming “Polka Mass Under the Big Tent” advertised in the official lineup of events at the annual Cedar Polka Fest Weekend August 25-28, 2022 (Events Archive – Cedar Polka Fest). It is sponsored/supported by the Diocese as it is listed as an event on the Diocese of Gaylord website.
The idea of having an outdoor Mass is not new and is often utilized when the expected attendees outnumber a church building’s size or when a church is not available nearby. Gaylord Diocesan Watch has been informed that Holy Rosary Church is not involved with this Mass. Also, the use of polka music for Mass is not in compliance with church directives that discourage the use of “profane”, ie, secular music or instruments in the Mass. Unfortunately, this is too often ignored or unknown by many Catholics, including musicians who perform at Mass.
This activity brings up questions: Wouldn’t attending Mass at Holy Rosary be a better way to honor the Polish heritage of Cedar? Would it not be better to have additional Masses at Holy Rosary on the Polka Fest weekend so that visitors could be exposed to the beautiful church and grounds that were built by the first Polish settlers of the area? If additional Masses would not be feasible, could there not be an outdoor Mass at Holy Rosary instead of one in town? Polka music is great for pierogi, sausage, and beer, but is it really appropriate for the Holy Eucharist?
The desire to have Mass on Sunday of a Polka Fest is honorable and should be supported. Gaylord Diocesan Watch clearly believes this and we appreciate those of have incorporated this Mass into the lineup of events this coming weekend. Perhaps it can be improved upon in future festivals in the Diocese of Gaylord.